It feels good when you selflessly do something for people; it feels even better when you do it again.
A year back, xKmph.com came up with a unique initiative called “ride to help the helpless fight cold”. A one of a kind ride where a bunch of bikers decided to do their bit for the society by collecting old and unwanted warm winter clothes from all around the city and then distributing them among the homeless and helpless people living on the streets of Kolkata; and like all good things, the ride was a huge success.
This year, it was time to do even better. Once again on the outset of winter, the team of xKmph.com started to prepare for “ride to help the helpless fight cold year 2”. A thread was posted at xKmph.com and a facebook event was created, followed by large scale promotion by all our members of xKmph.com both online and offline.
A lovely poster was designed by Santanu da, which was printed in the form of banners and then put up at various places like offices, restaurants, cafes, schools, colleges, etc. We used the power of social media to full extent and shared the event and its poster in all possible groups and pages involving both bikers and non-bikers alike.
Unlike last year, we got a good response from people all over the city from the very beginning. Soon, the bikers of xKmph.com rode around the entire city to collect donation of old clothes from one household to the other. One of the best parts of the collection process was that we were collecting donations from people who we did not know at all and still they came forward to support us in this noble initiative. The collection was not just restricted to Kolkata, we got donation in huge numbers from our friends of the Falcons Motor Sports Club in Burdwan and even from far off towns of Midnapur and Tamluk.
All this while, Kolkata was experiencing its coldest winter in recent times which made us even more determined to make life a little easier for the people who were experiencing the worst of the conditions. To judge the number and the condition of the people living on the streets we did a survey ride in the early hours of the morning on the weekend before the scheduled ride. Like last year, our hearts reached out to all those people who called the streets their homes; and while we lived our lives in the comfort and warmth of our homes, they struggled to survive against the dreaded cold.
The last few days were very hectic for us as we had to go to various places all around the city and come back to our homes with bag full of clothes. But it was a job we were more than happy to do. Soon, our donation boxes got full and then they started to overflow, it was a sight which we had longed to see.
Like last year, we selected Christmas day as the perfect day for the ride. Lots of bikers agreed to lend their hand in support to make the ride successful and smooth. So it was, the big day arrived. We managed to get 2 cars for the transportation of the clothes. One of which was provided by Arony Ghosh and the other by myself. The banners were attached on both the cars and then we drove to the houses of all our members and filled up the cars with all the contribution of warm clothes. The next job for us was to sort and pack the clothes in gunny bags for easy distribution. Arnab Paul was kind enough to allow us to ransack his house with all the clothes. We reached his place and unloaded all the clothes which filled 3 of his rooms! By that time the clock showed 1 AM. Some of us, including myself had not had our dinner that night because of the collection and to make it worse, we could not find any dhaba or restaurant open at that time of the night. In walked Arnab’s mom with bowls full of Maggie which were a blessing for us and we gorged on the Maggie to our heart’s and tummies content.
Our plan was to start the ride as early as 3 AM in the morning but we had a lot of work to do before that. In the next hour and half we worked tirelessly to sort and pack all the clothes with the company of a lot of giggles and leg pulling. The team did a great job and we reached Shyambazaar crossing, the scheduled starting point for the ride at 3:30 AM with 2 cars full of old winter clothes.
We were greeted by more than 20 bikers who braved the cold and compromised their sleep and came forward to help us in the distribution of the clothes. After the customary introduction session, we started our ride to help the helpless fight cold year two.
The scheduled stops were decided beforehand and we carried on the clothes distribution process which went on rather smoothly. The entire experience was utmost satisfying for each and every one of us as we went about doing our good deed of helping the helpless fight cold. Sometimes words are not enough to describe one’s experience and feelings and this was one such moment for us.
The street dwellers started to rise for the day at the crack of dawn and hence the commotion in front of our cars started to invariably increased. Thankfully for us, we had enough clothes and we did not have to turn anyone down. Within a span of just a few hours, our entire hard work of close to a month got over. At the Rashbehari crossing, we gave away the last quilt to one of the oldest person on the street and ended our ride for a cause.
We then proceeded to one of our favourite dhabas in Bhowanipur where we had arranged for breakfast for all the bikers who had came in support for our ride. After breakfast and many a round of chais we all dispersed off to our respective homes, with a promise to be back again next year in our Santa Claus avtatars.
On behalf of xKmph.com, I would like to say a big thank you to each and every person who directly or indirectly contributed for the cause. It would not have been possible without YOU.
And never miss out on a chance to make someone smile.